How do you define yourself? Is it based on your relationships, your occupation, your avocation? Is it related to something you do or something you are?
Listening (on audiobook) to Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” has made me think a lot about the way people define themselves. Not just as a person, but even defining “good” and “bad” within the roles we have.
If you were to ask me how I define myself, first and foremost I would say as a wife. My marriage is the most important thing to me. But what does being a good wife mean to me? And what does being a good wife mean to my husband? His view on good might be more important than mine. I define our marriage by the way we treat each other, the way we love each other, the things we share. As a wife, I also define good in relation to the meals my husband eats. I am not sure why, but I feel like I haven’t fulfilled my duty as a wife if he eats take out or something from a box multiple nights in a row. I don’t always cook big, healthy, full means, but it is important to me to cook for him. He doesn’t define my role as his wife based on his meals (thank goodness) so it is all in my head. But for whatever reason, that is one way I define myself.
I do not define my role as a wife, woman, or future mother based on the cleanliness of my house, having the laundry done, or the number of dishes in the sink. But that is just me. I cannot really say that any way you choose to define yourself is right or wrong. Some may be better than others, but is is all relative. One of the main points in “The Power of Now” is that any way we choose to define ourselves that is based on external factors is false. We should only be defining ourselves based on internal factors. Our true selves.
It is fascinating to consider a world in which we do not define ourselves based on anything other than ourselves. Not based on how much we make, what others think, or our perceptions of what others think. Would it change the way I feel about cooking for my husband? That is entirely internally created. I don’t know. But I know I’d like to try to get there and see.